BREVARD, N.C. – Junior forward Deja Riddick posted a new career-high with 22 points as the Brevard College Tornados women's basketball team (1-0) opened the 2019 season strong with a 65-56 victory over the visiting Toccoa Falls Screaming Eagles (2-6) on Tuesday evening at the Boshamer Gymnasium.
"It's always good to start the year and get a win under your belt," stated Head Coach Donald Hudson following Brevard's season-opening victory over Toccoa Falls. "Overall, I am pleased with our effort tonight. As a team, I thought that we played well and made the shots that we needed to make."
Riddick, a native of Norfolk, Virginia, was 8-of-18 from the field and added two 3-pointers to her ledger. She went 4-of-5 from the free-throw line while grabbing nine rebounds – six of which being offensive – alongside two steals. Riddick's six offensive boards helped the Tornados hold a commanding 14-4 advantage in offensive rebounds over the Screaming Eagles.
"Very pleased with our effort on the offensive glass tonight," commented Coach Hudson. "That's something that we want to hang our hats on this season – we want to win the rebounding edge in every game this year. We want to lead the league in offensive rebounds this year, and tonight was a good start towards that goal."
Sophomore center Avery Lockwood sparked the Tornados off the bench with a 13-point effort, as the Foxworth, Mississippi native collected six rebounds and was an efficient 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
Taryn Ledford (11 points) and Shakirah Thompson (eight points) led the Tornados from beyond the arc, as Ledford drained a team-high three 3-pointers while Thompson added two deep shots. Senior center Krysta Davis grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in a five-point effort for the Charlotte, North Carolina native.
"We expected to get a lot of three-point opportunities today due to zone defense," added Coach Hudson on his team's attack from long range. "Early on they weren't going in as often, but they were good looks so we talked about continuing to shoot the three and it paid off down the stretch."
Overall, the Tornados outrebounded the Screaming Eagles, 40-31. Brevard took advantage of second-chance points throughout the contest, scoring 12 total points off offensive boards.
Brevard led Tuesday's season-opener from the outset and never looked back, holding the lead for the entire contest after a Thompson 3-pointer nine seconds into action. The Tornados held their largest lead of the night at the 5:02 mark in the third quarter, a 24-point advantage, before Toccoa Falls began to claw its way back into the contest.
After BC's largest lead of the night, Toccoa Falls ended the third quarter on a 15-4 run to cut Brevard's lead to 12 points at 54-42.
Toccoa Falls was able to cut the lead to single-digits on a few occasions in the fourth quarter, however, Brevard withstood the Screaming Eagle rally, not letting its lead dwindle lower than nine points to secure the Tornados' 65-56 victory.
Brevard returns to action on Thursday, November 14 when the Tornados travel to Mount Berry, Georgia for a non-conference test against Berry College (0-2). Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. at the Cage Athletic Center.
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